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Saturday, October 26, 2013

McDonald’s helpline to employee: Go on food stamps

The protest movement for higher wages for fast food workers has been simmering for several months now, in the form of employee walkouts and street rallies in several major US cities. Now, advocates have zeroed in on another group they say is suffering financially from fast food chains’ corporate stinginess: the American taxpayer.

“McDonald’s doesn’t want to pay its workers more. It wants you to pay its workers more,” text at the end of the video read.
McDonald’s refuted the video’s contents in a statement Wednesday, calling it “not an accurate portrayal of the resource line,” and “very obviously” edited.  But the full 14-minute call was made available to reporters, and while the operator did tell Salgado that her franchise hadn’t signed up for full McResource services, she did give her the information that the edited video claims.
What’s more, the unedited call does nothing to refute the concept of fast food chains underpaying their workers as a hefty public burden, a notion that is gathering steam with a small but growing number of advocacy groups, economists, and policymakers.
Another issue: McDonald's didn’t become the biggest restaurant chain in the world without a successful business model. “It exists to sell food cheap,” Meyer points out. “And if you pay people $15 an hour, it won’t be as cheap. And they would be crazy to pay people much more than their competitors.”
For the movement to affect change, he argues it would have to strike a chord with a powerful enough group of people, or capitalize on the right news story. “The antinuclear movement hung around for years, and then Three Mile Island happened and made the whole thing bigger,” he says. “It just takes the right opportunity.”

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